Cell Press    Phycosphere——Aladdin’s magic lamp to diseased waters

Phycosphere——Aladdin’s magic lamp to diseased waters


The ocean is inextricably connected with humans, which covers approximately 70.8 % of Earth and supplies oxygen around the planet Earth. Marine environment is a rich source of food, minerals, and medicinal commodities. The market value of marine resources and related industries is ~US$3 trillion/annum, accounting for ~5% of global GDP, and a source of livelihoods of more than 3 billion people. At the same time, various anthropogenic activities continuously contaminate both marine and fresh water bodies, hence, deteriorating environmental and human health.

Microalgae is an effective and economical way of dealing with aquatic pollution. Microalgae and bacteria are living together after the great oxygenation event that took place 2150 million years ago and evolved to develop an efficient mutualism for their survival and remediation of polluted environments through nutrient exchange, extracellular polymer secretion, signal transduction regulation, community structure changes, horizontal gene transfer. The algal microbiome is closely related to the health of the ocean, and together they build a community of shared future. Therefore, in-depth understanding of the inter-algal microbial interaction mechanism and analysis of the interaction between algae and bacteria in the process of remediation of polluted water is not only of great scientific significance, but also has important practical significance for building a harmonious and healthy marine ecological environment.

Recently, Trends in Microbiology published an article titled “Synergy between microalgae and microbiome in polluted waters” by SCBE group (doi.org/10.1016/j.tim.2022.06.004). This paper reviews the latest progress in algal-microbiome research in polluted water environments. It points out that, like the human microbiome, the union of microalgae and related microbiomes, can be thought of as an independent life form. When exposed to polluted environments, algal symbionts regulate life processes at different levels, including metabolism, signal transduction, transcription, population, and genome, and alter community structure or genome composition to achieve short- and medium-term acclimation or long-term adaptation. The article also proposes the concept of "PollutantBiome" which help to understand microalgae-microbiome interactions and development of beneficial microbial synthetic communities for pollutant remediation. Finally, the article looks forward to the prospect that the artificially designed and delicate microalgae-microbiome symbionts are expected to become Aladdin's magic lamp for treating polluted oceans, serving the health of water ecosystems, and ultimately benefiting human society and realizing the sustainable development of human beings and the ocean.

Postdoctoral fellows Dr. Noreen Ashraf and Dr. Fiaz Ahmad are the first authors. The research was funded by the Intergovernmental Project of National Key R&D Program of China, the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, the Hainan Free Trade Port Talent Network, Major State Basic Research Development Program and the Project of State Key Laboratory of Marine Resource Utilization in South China Sea.


        Article link: https://www.cell.com/trends/microbiology/fulltext/S0966-842X(22)00160-3


Call for Postdoctoral and Doctoral Programs for International Students 

(No time limits)

Hainan Province locates on the southernmost tip of China and is the only Free Trade Island of China. Hainan University (HNU) is a comprehensive key university jointly administered by the State Ministry of Education and the People’s Government of Hainan Province. It is a leading university for science research and teaching of Hainan Province and was listed as one of China’s “211 Project” universities, one of the 14 universities in the “Midwest Universities Comprehensive Strength Promotion Project”, and a national-level key sponsored university in the “One Province, One School” project in the Midwest of China. In 2017, HNU was selected as the national “Double First-Class” Initiative to develop world-class disciplines. As an integrated institute of Hainan University, HNU has become one of the research and education centers in China.

Unicellular planktons, with an estimate of almost one million species, are of great ecological importance, as they contribute almost half of the global organic carbon fixation. They provide a variety of natural products to support ecosystems (e.g., coral reef ecosystem) by photosynthesis with efficiencies approximately three times greater than those achieved by land plants. Domesticated microalgae hold great promise for the sustainable provision of various bioresources for human domestic and industrial consumption.

The main interest of Single-cell BioEngineering Group (SCBE) is the evolution, function, and editing of single-cell microalgal genomes and design of synthetic biology using microalgae as chassis, including (1) Characterization and engineering crucial biological process and value-added chemical in microalgae; (2) Development and application of synthetic biology in cell factory design for medical, industrial, and agriculture ends ; (3) The interaction mechanism between microalgae and other microbes and strategy development for heavy-metal remediation approach using these consortia.

We are now calling for Postdoctoral and Doctoral Programs for International Students

For more details: http://www.scbioengineering.com/recruit